A D Ackerman
What's Your Excuse (for Not Preserving Time for Creativity)?
I have been trying to find a GOOD one—a good excuse, that is, for why I have not pushed Publish for any post on my blog in almost an entire year.
My blog was designed to track the evolution of my coaching journey, demonstrating how helpful coaching could be to so many different people and showing how I was growing in my curiosity, courage, and creativity as the months (and years) pass.
Have I stopped growing? Am I no longer curious or courageous?
No. But I DID notice something that may have contributed to why I was not writing as often as I had been.
Time for Creativity Was Missing from my Calendar
More specifically, I had allowed Time to control me and my activities. I am tempted to say that "I was too busy," but, you see, that is just an EXCUSE, not an explanation.
Time, in fact, controls nothing. It just continues to move on.
I should not be surprised at how Time passes, since I have lived alongside Time for quite a few decades. I will not offer excuses for why I haven't written. I will, however, apologize to you—if you are one of my loyal readers—for disappointing you by not landing in your inbox for such a long time.
So here it is: I am sorry for not keeping my commitment to you when you signed up to be part of this community and to receive my occasional written Blog Post/Newsletter. I promise to do better, although I never plan to be landing in your inbox with precise regularity. It is not my intention to be totally predictable.
With your leave, I will tell you a little about how I discovered my creativity was hiding for the past 11 months.
At the end of 2022 I was reviewing my year, week by week. I noticed that I had allowed my calendar to become very full of the very thing that I had said I wanted at the start of 2022: more clients! Yes, this was such a good thing that while it was happening, all I could do was be grateful. There seemed to be a demand for my specific brand of executive and leadership coaching, my direct yet supportive approach, and my use of Axiogenics™ and the V/Q profile (see this post for a description of Axiogenics).
I had become attached to the feeling of busyness as an indication that I was doing the "right thing" and having an impact. But, what also became apparent as I reviewed the weeks and months was that there was precious little "white space" on my calendar. I scheduled short breaks between clients, but often just long enough to take a bio break, walk around the house a few times, and then settle in to prepare for the next session. I would feel so tired by the end of many of the days that I certainly did not feel energetic enough to spend a couple of hours preparing a blog post (and actually, I recently discovered a few posts that are mostly written but never "published" because I lost the energy to perform the final bits of proofreading, link checking, etc.).
There were also other creative outlets that I allowed to fade into the distant background of my life. I have proven to myself repeatedly that allowing my brain's creative side to express itself is essential for my sense of well-being. Yet, I kept finding excuses for not doing needlework, creating with polymer clay, or even just coloring. I was still taking occasional photos, but I wasn't processing them or turning them into books, cards, calendars, or gifts. In fact, editing recently taken photos often provides inspiration for a topic to be addressed in a blog post.
As I think about creativity and its importance in my life, I wonder how many of the following effects are essential in your life. Here I have listed seven reasons why I believe creativity is critical. Let me know if I have missed what it means in your life:
1: Creativity Promotes Innovation
Creativity is an essential tool for innovation, as it encourages us to think out of the box and come up with unique solutions. It allows us to explore new avenues of thought and push boundaries to create something extraordinary. Creative thinkers challenge the status quo and use their imaginations to create something that has never been seen before. By tapping into our creative potential, we can unlock a world of possibilities and develop revolutionary ideas that have the power to shape the future.
2: Creativity Helps Us Connect with Others
Creativity is essential for social interaction. It allows us to connect with others more deeply, sharing ideas and forging connections that can last a lifetime. Creative thinkers are often highly empathetic, tapping into their emotions to understand and empathize with others. This ability to connect with others allows for more meaningful and fulfilling relationships, fostering innovation and creativity in the process.
3: Creativity Enhances our Memory
Creativity is vital for retaining information. Our memory is limited, and we can only hold onto so many pieces of data simultaneously. By being creative, we can create memorable and unique memories. Engaging in creative thinking can improve our memory skills and boost our ability to learn new information.
4: Creativity Enhances Our Problem-Solving Abilities
Creativity is essential for problem-solving. When faced with a difficult challenge, creativity helps us develop innovative solutions that work well in the given context. Creative thinkers can often see things from a different perspective, leading to innovative solutions that usually haven't been considered before. Using your imagination, you can solve even the most complex problems.
5: Creativity Promotes Mental Well-being
Being creatively engaged has positive mental health effects. It has been shown to increase cognitive flexibility, intelligence quotient (IQ), emotional intelligence (EQ), critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and working memory capacity, among other things. In addition, being creative helps us deal with stress more effectively by releasing endorphins – natural painkillers and feel good chemicals – in the brain. Furthermore, creativity has been shown to improve mood and reduce anxiety. As a result, creativity is an essential tool for maintaining mental health and well-being. This, for me is the most important aspect of creativity and why I need it so much.
6: Creativity Enhances our Work Performance
Creativity is essential for improving work performance. Using our imagination, we can develop innovative solutions that boost productivity. Creative thinkers often see the potential in even the most mundane tasks, leading to greater innovation and better results. In addition, creative thinking helps us relax and de-stress, leading to increased focus and performance.
7: Creativity Can Help Us Achieve Our Goals
When it comes to achieving goals, creativity is vital. By being creative, we can come up with original ideas that have the power to move mountains. We can also use our imagination to create new pathways that bypass traditional obstacles. Creative thinkers are often able to take advantage of opportunities that other people wouldn't dare consider, leading to success in virtually any field of endeavor.
As with every good thing, there may also be a dark side. Let's consider the good and the potentially not-so-good side of creativity:
Improves work performance
Increases cognitive flexibility and IQ
Enhances problem-solving abilities
Promotes mental/emotional well-being
Enhances relationship skills
Helps to discern and achieve goals
Can lead to stress if not well-managed
Can be difficult to measure
Can make it harder to maintain focus
Can lead to conflicts with less-creative team members
Can be challenging to incorporate into some work cultures
So, although I lacked creativity over the past year, I was more focused on growing my business and further optimizing my coaching skills. Now, I pledge to allow creativity to flow and be creative in both my work and daily life.
Over the coming weeks and months, I promise to write more.
There is so much I want to tell you. So much has changed in my coaching life and my journey of continuing self-discovery. I am still in love with coaching and my wonderful clients. I still wonder at how the same event or stimulus can result in so many different reactions among us humans. I believe I see more of my own inner workings and, yes, some of my inadequacies, and I am striving daily to fill those gaps and be a better person.
In being a better person, I am embracing the internal need to allow my creativity to show itself. I am embracing my desire to write this blog—not for business—not to gain clients—but to share my knowledge and discoveries with you in hopes that it may occasionally be helpful. And to learn from you, my clients, my students, and my family (husband, children, and grandchildren).
I am sitting here three and a half weeks into the new year, promising change by being more present in my life AND more present in your life, if you will have me.
I invite you (beg you really) to leave me a note after you read this. Let me know how you see creativity in your own life and how you will nourish it throughout 2023 and beyond. And let me know how I can help.
Thanks for reading. I value your time and am honored you chose to spend the last few minutes reading this post. I hope it provided value for you. If so, I would appreciate it if you would share it with someone who might also find it of value.
I would love to hear from you. Please come find me on LinkedIn. Or send me an email at Alice@adackerman.com.
To add more value to your life ask yourself this question every day: What choice can I make and action can I take in this moment to create the greatest net value? Then take the free VQ (value quotient) assessment to start your journey with Axiogenics, and learn how to consistently play your "A" game.